May 19, 2016 — by: E. Werner Reschke
Categories: iOS, iPad, iPhone, OS X, Tim Cook, Apple Car

April 24, 2015. It was to be a big day in Apple’s history, and a big day for Tim Cook to show the world he could match the brilliance of his predecessor Steve Jobs. Apple Watch was finally available for sale. It was Cook’s first new product category and it was fully under his direction and guidance. The result? Yawn.

Apple Watch is cool and works well within the Apple eco system, but it wasn’t a must-have item, and yet Apple spent abundant resources on bringing this gem (pun intended) to market. Products that suffered in Apple Watch’s development wake have been iPhone, iPad, iOS, Mac and OS X. It seems under Cook Apple can really only fully focus on one item at a time, which is exactly where Apple is today.

With the Mac hardware lineup sorely lacking any significant update or refresh and iPhone struggling to keep pace with its historical numbers, Apple seems intent on producing products the market isn’t interested in: iPad Pro. Tim Cook thinks this is cool, but the problem is the rest of us don’t — at least not in numbers that would make Apple’s stock soar like iPhone and the original iPad.

Then there is Project Titan, Apple’s car development program. This seems to be the main drain for why Apple can’t make a compelling new version of iPhone or significantly update its Mac hardware lineup. The best of Apple's engineering talent has been pulled into Apple's car development. Granted this is a big undertaking and not something the company can get wrong. The car must be absolutely awesome. It must also be safe. Finally it must be readily available and work without a slew of recalls (Tesla anyone?).

Keep in mind, all this information comes from outside of Apple. At this point it is pure conjecture. Maybe Project Titan isn’t to blame and it is something else? Maybe over a decade of massive success has made Apple complacent — willing to do just enough to sell the next model, but not enough to wow us all over again. This might just be Tim Cook’s Apple — not as daring, not as brilliant, but functional non-the-less.

I hope I am wrong and that WWDC16 will be Apple’s best in a decade with all sorts of new hardware and software announcements. Maybe even in a change in what we find inside Macs. If not, Titan brain drain or something else has this company on a completely different road than Steve Jobs once presided over.

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  1. ViewRoyal ~ May. 19, 2016 @ 1:05 pm

    "The result? Yawn." Every negative comment about the Apple Watch has come from people who don't actually own one. This is the same with the iPhone and the Mac as well. Is the Apple Watch a "yawn". Only if a product that is the most successful (by far) in Apple's history qualifies as a "yawn". By any measure, the Apple Watch has been hugely successful for Apple. In fact, it sold an estimated 3-times as many units in its first year of sales than iPhones were sold in its first year of sales (15 million vs. 5 million). And no rational person ever called the iPhone a "flop". The smartwatch market was pre-existing for 2 years before the Apple Watch was introduced, yet in its first year of sales against many established competitors, the Apple Watch was the majority of ALL smartwatches sold worldwide that year. Some people try to criticize the Apple Watch by imagining that it has not been a useful or well liked product with people who bought it. But a poll of Apple Watch owners revealed an unrivalled 97% satisfaction rating! This even beats a still excellent 92% satisfaction rating that the iPhone received in its first year! The Apple Watch brought in an estimated $10 Billion in its first year for Apple. That amount for just Apple Watch sales is larger than the total annual revenue of almost every company (and some countries) on the planet. Considering all this, it is hard to believe that anyone could call the Apple Watch a "yawn". #
  2. ViewRoyal ~ May. 19, 2016 @ 1:12 pm

    "With stock down over 30% from when the Apple Watch was launched in April of 2015, many are wondering if the once glowing ideas of Steve Jobs have all been used up and now Tim Cook is just managing the steady decline of Apple." You are forgetting that Apple's greatest growth happened AFTER Steve Jobs death, and while Tim Cook was CEO of Apple. Look at a long term chart of AAPL over the past 20 years. You will see that the recent drop in stock price is not unusual. It has happened several times in the past, and will probably happen again in the future. However, the over all value of the stock has been on steady growth. These price drops are always driven by negative rumours, which invariably turn out to be false, and/or don't take other important factors into consideration. Just ten years ago (June, 2006) the relative value of the stock was $8.18, today even with the recent large drop, a share is $94.20 (worth almost 12 times the value in only 10 years!). The last major drop was 3 years ago, when it dropped from a high of $95.03 (August 2012) to a low of $56.65 (June 2013). People who only view the stock on a day to day basis are panicking because they don't see the long term picture. They are the ones who are losing money when they cash out each time the price of AAPL drops. Hint to those people: Buy low, sell high... Not the other way around! Meanwhile, long term investors would like to thank you for temporarily bring down the price, creating a great buying opportunity for them. ;-)) #
  3. Karine ~ Oct. 13, 2016 @ 2:51 am

    Good article. And now i think Samsung is on a bad way with their recent problems #

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